Thursday, 11 October 2012

Servicing An Early 20thC Gents Wristwatch

This watch belongs to a good friend of mine. I believe it originally was his father's, which I believe adds to the watch's story and sentimental value.


This is certainly an early 20th century wristwatch, I'd hazard a guess at it being a gents watch - it's size and design are consistent with some other gents watches I've seen from that era.


The case design has fixed lugs and a single piece leather strap, which is itself really nice. The strap was in pretty ordinary condition, so I soaked it in a strong tea for a couple of days and periodically brushed the rust off with a fibreglass brush.


Soaking the strap in tea (hopefully) achieved two goals, to soften and treat the leather, as well as helping remove rust on the fixed buckle.


After the week or so of tea & brushing, its into a container of rice to dry out.


The case is really interesting, it has a delicate hinge which is not entirely visible when trying to open it.


The case might be guaranteed for 10 years, but now its probably getting closer to 100 - quality work.


The dial has two feet which are held onto the movement with clipped screws.


The movement did run a little when I received the watch, but the oscillation was weak and stopped often when the piece was moved. You may notice from the photo below that the balance spring is bent slightly. This causes the balance spring to not sit parallel with the balance wheel, such that the spring interferes with the balance arms. I corrected the balance spring distortion upon reassembly.


The balance cock and winding wheel removed.


With most of the going train removed.


Now onto the obverse of the movement for the keyless works


The next few photos show the balance closer up


You can see the slight deformation in the outside coil of the balance spring. The spring stud should sit perpendicular to the plane of the coiled balance spring, but when I took the photo it leaned outward from the staff slightly.


The mostly disassembled movement.


Cleaned, oiled, reassembled and balance spring corrected.


The case was run through my ultrasonic cleaner, there was a considerable amount of grime in the hinge and recesses.


I applied some polywatch to the plexi 3 times to restore its condition. The plating on the case could be revisited in the future, but for now it's running smoothly for the first time in a long time.

2 comments:

  1. My, that is priceless vintage watch! Bravo to you for restoring its true beauty! Carry on sharing your passion for watches.

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    1. Thank-you, at times this 'passion' feels more like an addiction - but one I'm happily entertaining. Apart from the balance spring correction this watch was quite and easy job, now I just wish I could know who manufactured it. If anyone knows or can see any clues from the photos feel free to post below.

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